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Senate Appropriations Approves Interior-Environment Spending Bill

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved this week an Interior-Environment spending bill that would fund EPA at $9.01 billion in overall funding for FY20, which is $161 million more than in FY19, or a roughly 2 percent increase. This is in sharp contrast to the President’s budget request last March that outlined cutting EPA’s budget by a third to $6.1 billion in fiscal 2020. The bill includes increased funding for State and Tribal Assistance Grants at $116 million, which includes $20 million to help states address PFAS contamination and remediation in land and water.

The bill would provide $1.13 billion for drinking water state revolving funds and $1.64 billion for the clean water state revolving funds, for a total of about $2.765 billion and an additional $41.5 million for the grant programs authorized in the America’s Water Infrastructure Act. The Senate bill funds EPA at $500 million less than the House version. The differences between the two bills will have to be negotiated in conference. Congress has passed a stop-gap funding measure to give themselves an additional seven weeks to pass & negotiate the FY20 spending bills. President Trump is expected to sign the continuing resolution before September 30th.